Nashville Waffle House shooting suspect arrested

Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed the arrest on Monday afternoon. ​
April 23, 2018, 6:15pm

The man suspected of shooting and killing four people at a Waffle House in Nashville has finally been arrested after leading state and federal law enforcement officers on an intense, 34-hour manhunt.

Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed the arrest of Travis Reinking, 29, a native of Morton, Illinois, on Monday afternoon. After allegedly showing up to the Waffle House — naked except for a green jacket and an assault-style weapon — on Sunday morning, Reinking disappeared for more than a day. Gunshots were even heard at one point during the search, but police later clarified they came from a nearby gun range.

A construction worker tipped police off to Reinking’s location, which was less than a mile away from his apartment. When he was arrested, he was wearing jeans, a long-sleeved shirt riddled with holes, and black backpack that had a loaded silver handgun inside. Reinking also had scratches all over his upper arms.

Before Reinking’s arrest, the police department said there hadn’t been any “credible sightings” of the suspect since the shooting. Police said they searched the the wood area where Reinking was eventually found, but he wasn’t there at the time. His movements for those 34 hours are unknown, and he refused to give a statement to detectives.

Reinking allegedly began shooting outside the restaurant at about 3:25 a.m. and first targeted people in the parking lot. He then continued firing as he headed inside the Waffle House, breaking one of the restaurant’s glass windows. When he took a break presumably to reload, according to police, a patron wrestled the gun away from him.

Reinking then fled the scene on foot and, at some point, returned home and put on pants before being caught and arrested on Monday afternoon, according to police. The Nashville Metro Police Department did not have any additional comments about the arrest and could not confirm if the suspect was armed or if any officers were injured as a result of the arrest.

On the Tuesday before the shooting, Reinking had stolen a car from a Brentwood BMW dealership, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said at a press conference Monday. Police chased him through rush-hour traffic, but he got away. The officers used the car’s GPS to track Reinking back to his apartment, but at the time, he wasn’t a suspect.

Here's footage of that chase:

It’s unclear how the carjacking and the shooting are connected — Reinking drove a car, registered to him, to the Waffle House on Sunday. Police used the registration to connect him to the incident, assistant chief of police for the Brentwood Police Department Tommy Walsh told VICE News.

Reinking was also arrested in July 2017 for entering a restricted area of the White House, after which police seized all of his weapons, including the AR-15 he used at the Waffle House shooting. Police believe his father received the weapons from authorities after they were taken away from Reinking and later returned them to his son. His father could face charges, according to the Associated Press.

A pistol, another of the weapons seized after the incident last July, is still missing from his apartment.

READ: What we know about the Nashville Waffle House shooter

Cover image: In this photo released by the Metro Nashville Police Department, Travis Reinking sits in a police car after being arrested in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, April 23, 2018. Police said Reinking opened fire at a Waffle House early Sunday, killing at least four people. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)